Title, Fortalitium fidei. Biblioteca Digital Dioscórides · Incunables (Biblioteca Histórica UCM). Author, Alfonso de la Espina. Publisher, Antonius Koberger, “Fortalitium fidei” is often credited as a precursor to Western demonology and witchcraft lore, but that isn’t the scariest part of this work. Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the public and we .

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Deep in the cool, dry basement of Goldfarb Library, faces of death mingle with witches, demons and the devil.

Alphonso de Spina

Welcome to the Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections. The Archives house hundreds of volumes and precious artifacts, including the death masks of the Italian American anarchists Ferdinando Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti.

Alphonso de Espina, best known as one of the harbingers of the Fortalitiu Inquisition, published the first printed book to contain references to witchcraft.


De Espina classifies demons into 10 categories including goblins, incubi and succubi, and demons that specifically target old women. De Espina writes about assemblies of women in southern France who were burnt — the earliest fortslitium reference to the burning of accused witches. De Espina, who some scholars believe to be a Christian convert, called for the expulsion of all Jews and Muslims from Spain.

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Less than a decade later, the Inquisition was established, during which scholars estimate hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Joseph Glanvil was an English clergyman and philosopher. In the latter half of the 17th century, the videi were struggling to reconcile new approaches to science and religious thought.

As a member of the Royal Society of London, the oldest scientific body in the world, Glanvil was a strong supporter of both empirical research and the supernatural.

Fortalitium fidei – Alfonso de la Espina – Google Books

Glanvil personally fide a popular poltergeist, known as the Drummer of Tedworth, and collected other stories of witchcraft from around the country. For Glanvil, and many others at the time, belief in the supernatural was an argument against atheism.


His empirical approach to the supernatural influenced other thinkers of the time, including Cotton Mather, whose writings on witchcraft fueled some of the hysteria leading to the Salem Witch Trials.

By the late 19th century, the zealotry of witch hunts had faded, though pockets of superstition remained. Although long interested in the supernatural, Scott was profoundly skeptical of it, and these letters express sympathy and outrage for the men and women of the previous century accused of witchcraft and executed.

Humanities and Social SciencesResearch. Monday, December 31, Communications Brandeis Home Brandeis. By Leah Burrows Oct.

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